The Strange Behavior Of Birds

As I sit at my kitchen table,
perusing the morning newspaper,
I look up, out into the backyard,
a backyard normally filled with birds
at my feeders this time of morning.
Today the yard is empty, devoid of movement.
Nary a bird is in sight.

As I sit at my kitchen table,
thinking “How odd!”,
a lone male cardinal alights
on the ground under the back feeder.
He is a magnificent male, ablaze in brilliant red,
with the blackest of black around his bill.

As I sit at my kitchen table,
admiring this avian visual delight,
along comes a single blue jay to join him.
Next to arrive is a solitary mockingbird,
followed by one peaceful mourning dove.
A large male red-headed woodpecker adds himself
to the growing gathering under the back feeder.
In flies a sparrow, resplendent in his drab brown.

As I sit at my kitchen table,
watching these six birds - each of different
size and feather - co-mingle amicably,
in complete harmony and tranquility,
there one beside one beside one,
the six are joined by others of their own kind.
There upon the spacious ground,
amidst the plentiful seed,
squabbles break out between species,
each species lunging and pecking at the others.
All tolerance evaporates into prejudice,
quite cruel and mean.

As I sit at my kitchen table,
pondering such behavior by birds,
I think “How odd!”.

Harry Edward Gilleland      01.10.03